Many thanks in advance!
All very good points. I remember only a little from jr high Earth Science, but I remember lots from college geography courses. The bottom line is that, as our illustrious post leader pointed out, water must flow downhill and/or gather in lowland areas. It is very good advice to figure your terrain features and mountains BEFORE placing rivers because I tend to think you only get a say in one or the other. Mountains tell you where rivers can be, and vice versa. As for the bit about water tables and springs, it makes sense, but it's also pretty deep (no pun intended). If most other mappers are like me they get a blank outline and then stare at it dumbfounded about what to do next. Great, I have a shape of the landmass......now what? Figuring out the surface terrain is enough of a task without trying to incorporate soil density.
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Many thanks in advance!
Hi Caenwyr, that software was my own and its unreleased. Its a total PITA to use and it has no GUI so it would be a problem releasing it. However, there is Wilbur which is written by another member here and the author of Fractal Terrains. Wilbur is free and downloadable and also calculates river path predictions based on similar criteria to my app simulation. So check this link out:
I found an interesting factoid that probably only the most ardent of us will apply: The ratio between the length of a meandering river and the length of a line drawn from its source to its mouth approximates pi (3.14159…).
Pi -- from Wolfram MathWorld
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You're quite right, although trees don't grow where rivers are, as such. Rather both trees and rivers tend to end up in areas of high rainfall. Water in a river isn't much use to a tree, because trees don't grow in rivers. But rivers tend to flow where there's more rainfall. Trees get their water mostly from rainwater falling on the ground where they're standing. The water that isn't absorbed by trees ends up in rivers.
Higher rainfall = more trees + more rivers
Lower rainfall = less trees + less rivers
Good tut! I do have a question - I have been struggling to work how to get the same look to rivers that you find in any good atlas - they start thin, meander in very 'random' line pattern and join up to get wider until finally ending in a delta or an estuary. When I try, the rivers obviously come out looking overly smooth sided, and they do not start with near invisible thin streams that eventually coalesce to form a river. Any ideas please? (PS I have only just started using GIMP 2.8 - never realised until friends told me that there was anything better than Microsoft Paint!)
You might want to look at one of RobA's scripts here. I am not sure how it fits into 2.8 but might be worth a try. Let us know how it works out.
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I had a thought the other day concerning the interface between rivers and seas, so I thought I'd bring it up here. We have discussed delta formation in fairly great depth, but there hasn't been a more general conversation about how rivers affect coastlines.
To start the discussion off, we know that as a river nears the sea and loses momentum that it can drop silt, which is what causes a delta to form. Usually, the delta will extend the coastline outward, as can be seen around the Mississippi Delta and the Nile. In contrast, other rivers may form an estuary, where the river erodes the coastline away, allowing the sea to move further and further inland. Because the estuary is filled with a mixture of seawater and river water, it usually has lower salinity than the ocean, but higher than the river. Many deltas also have this feature, and in both cases, the water level and level of salinity may be dependent on the tide. In some cases, a river ending in an estuary may actually run backward at high tide, as pressure from the narrowing channel temporarily forces the water to run uphill.
Are there any other interesting coastal formations caused by rivers? Have I got anything wrong there?